NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Group homes

Image showing group homes

Group homes provide temporary or permanent accommodation for people with a disability or people that are socially disadvantaged. The State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 (Housing SEPP) aims to increase the supply of group homes by permitting this type of accommodation in a range of land use zones and including a complying development approval pathway.

 

Planning framework for group homes

The planning provisions for group homes were recently transferred from the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) to the Housing SEPP.

 

The group homes provisions can be found in Chapter 3, Part 2 of the Housing SEPP.

 

There are 3 separate approval pathways for new group homes:

  • development without consent – in a prescribed zone undertaken by a public authority and does not result in a dwelling of more than 10 bedrooms
  • complying development – the development does not result in more than 10 bedrooms being within one or more group homes on a site and complies with the clauses 1.18 and 1.19 of the Codes SEPP and the standards prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Housing SEPP
  • development application – for all other development with the consent authority taking into consideration the need for a group home.

The Housing SEPP also includes exempt development provisions for minor alterations to an existing group home.

 

Review of group homes provisions

The department is reviewing the planning provisions for group homes to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

 

This review responds to feedback received from stakeholders in response to the Housing Diversity SEPP Explanation of Intended Effect, the Housing SEPP consultation draft, and other feedback received by the department.

 

We expect to consult with the public on proposed updates to the policy in the first half of 2022, and that the review will be finalised mid-year.

 

Frequently asked questions

Where are group homes permitted?

The Housing SEPP permits group homes in the following zones:

  • R1 General Residential
  • R2 Low Density Residential
  • R3 Medium Density Residential
  • R4 High Density Residential
  • B4 Mixed Use
  • SP1 Special Activities
  • SP2 Infrastructure
  • any other zone where dwelling houses or multi dwelling housing are permitted under another environmental planning instrument.
How does the CDC pathway for group homes work?

If a proposal for a group home meets all the complying development requirements, an application may be determined within 20 days by a local council or accredited certifier.

The certifying authority is required to notify neighbours of an application for complying development 14 days prior to approval. Where a complying development certificate has been issued, the owner will need to provide neighbour notification 7 days prior to works commencing.

 

More information

For more information, email housingpolicy@planning.nsw.gov.au or call 02 8289 6701.

Page last updated: 15/08/2022